The Blenders Pride Fashion Tour concluded its 15th edition with a high octane fashion showcase featuring 15 eminent designers and global superstar Priyanka Chopra Jonas celebrating ‘The Pride of India’.
What started out as a fashion extravaganza in New Delhi in early December 2019 journeyed through three cities with several Indian fashion design stalwarts to culminate in a never-seen-before fashion show in Mumbai. The Blenders Pride Fashion Tour has always gone beyond anyone’s expectations when it comes to showcasing Indian fashion, larger-than-life design ideas, and immersive experiences. And the 15th edition’s finale, ‘The Pride of India’, curated by designer Ashish Soni and highlighting the three pillars of ‘craft’, ‘blend’, and ‘identity’, was a celebration like no other.
Special segments like ‘Style Forum’ (an expert discussion platform on industry-relevant subjects), ‘The Showcase’ (the next big emerging designers and models), and ‘Collection Gallery’ (a one-of-a-kind exhibit displaying curated works by designers from around the country) were only some of the things creating a fashion experience of a lifetime. Add to that another first — an association with the Fashion Design Council of India.
For the final leg of the tour, Blenders Pride Fashion Tour headed to Mumbai for ‘The Pride of India’ finale, with 15 eminent designers celebrating the theme ‘My Origin, My Pride’. Veterans like Abraham & Thakore, Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla, Anamika Khanna, Anju Modi, Ashish N Soni, Gaurav Gupta, JJ Valaya, Manish Malhotra, Monisha Jaising, Namrata Joshipura, Raghavendra Rathore, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna, and Suneet Varma presented their signature designs.
Adding to the grandeur of the evening was brand ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who opened the show by paying tribute to the late Wendell Rodricks. While Chopra set the pace by acknowledging the designer’s contribution to the Indian fashion industry, her heartfelt words were followed by a capsule collection by Schulen Fernandez for the designer, featuring pieces with 3D design elements that were a signature of Rodricks’. Other highlights included several high-energy performances that punctuated the finale.
“It’s been such an amazing association. When we set out on this journey together, the aim was always to support and promote the amazing talent we have in the fashion industry India,” said Priyanka Chopra Jonas. “It’s so fulfilling to see the way the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour has grown over the years and the many talents it has showcased. I’m proud to work with this team who are so thoroughly professional and passionately committed to make this event bigger and better every year. I’ve seen first-hand their energy and enthusiasm to put this fabulous event together year after year.”
The Mumbai edition ‘Collection Gallery’ exhibited the works of 78 famed designers including Alpana Neeraj, Akaaro by Gaurav Jai Gupta, Shantanu & Nikhil, Anavila Misra, and was spread over three zones – Craft, Blend, Identity – proving to be an immersive experience into the world of Indian design. ‘The Showcase’, which was launched last year as a platform to provide a breakthrough opportunity for aspiring fashion designers and models, presented the work of winning designers Ikshit Pande (Quod), Sushant Abrol (Countrymade), and Stanzin Palmo (Zilzom), alongside winning models Ritu Chauhan, Poojan Solanki, and Preethy Karan.
At the segment ‘Style Forum’, designers Kunal Rawal, Ashish Soni, David Abraham, Namrata Joshipura, and FDCI president Sunil Sethi came together for an exchange of ideas on the journey of the Indian fashion industry and its future.
“In its 15th year of spearheading fashion in India, Blenders Pride Fashion Tour moved beyond conventional shows to become a celebration of all things fashion with a new vision,” explained Kartik Mohindra, chief marketing officer, Pernod Ricard India. “With its path-breaking format, the milestone edition of the tour enhanced the appeal for the youth and set the tone for innovation in the years to come. The journey of ‘Pride’ that the brand undertook last year, continued to take center-stage this year as well, to bring alive distinctive expressions of ‘Pride’. We are also thrilled to have collaborated with the industry leader, FDCI, in this landmark year, to take the property to new heights, together with illustrious designers and artists from across the country.”
Associating with design veterans, discovering talent, raising awareness about issues surrounding the industry – with its 15th edition, the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour managed to present Indian fashion in all its glory. As the curtain falls on the 2019-2020 edition, we can be certain that the next year will only up the ante.
All images: Courtesy Blenders Pride Fashion Tour